How To Get Through Airport Security More Easily If Your Kids Have Special Needs  

Flying almost always comes with some anxiety, but for parents travelling with kids with special needs such as autism, the mere thought of navigating the sensory hurricane that is a busy airport can be terrifying.

Photo: Karen (Flickr)

The crowds, the lines, the announcements piping through the loud speakers, the spontaneous pat-downs - it's often too much. Here are some other tips for flying with an autistic child:

  • Prepare your kid. Shannon Airport has some step-by-step videos to show travellers what's to come, from arriving at the airport to landing. Sydney Airport also has a short video about the departure process.
  • Do a practice run. The Autism Association and Perth Airport's Wings for Autism program allows autistic passengers to do a "rehearsal" at the airport before their flight.
  • Request priority boarding. When you make your reservation, let the airline know you'd like priority seating, and inform the gate personnel of your request when you arrive.
  • Bring comforting items. For instance, if your child is sensitive to loud sounds, make sure to pack noise-cancelling headphones.

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